On the heels of luxury brand Gucci being in hot water over a balaclava that resembled blackface, singer Katy Perry is now being criticized over a shoe design that some call “racist.”
The pop-rock singer’s shoes in question from her namesake shoe collection are available on her website and through international retailers, including U.S.-based Dillard’s and Walmart.
The shoes titled Ora Face Block Heel and Rue Face Slip-On Loafers are available in two colors, black and beige, and both feature protruding eyes and full red lips.
According to The Guardian, the shoes, which were released last summer have now been removed.
A spokesperson for the company told TMZ: “In order to be respectful and sensitive the team is in the process of pulling the shoes.”
Perry gave an exclusive statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
“The Rue and The Ora were part of a collection that was released last summer in 9 different colorways (black, blue, gold, graphite, lead, nude, pink, red, silver) and envisioned as a nod to modern art and surrealism,” reads a statement from Katy Perry and Global Brands Group obtained by .
“I was saddened when it was brought to my attention that it was being compared to painful images reminiscent of blackface. Our intention was never to inflict any pain. We have immediately removed them from Katy Perry Collections.”
The singer debuted her shoe line in 2017.
Some Twitter users have found the shoes offensive, and some are questioning the validity of the criticism.
Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth.